Skip to main content Accessibility help

First Record and Phylogenetic Significance of a Jurassic Diadematacean Sea Urchin from California

  • Rich Mooi (a1) and Richard P. Hilton (a2)


Although diadematacean sea urchins (diadematids, aspidodiadematids, and micropygids) likely diverged sometime during the Jurassic, the lack of fossils representing this group has greatly hampered progress in understanding their evolution. No unequivocal Jurassic diademataceans have been described previously from North America. We describe a new genus and species, Sierradiadema kristini, from a single fossil from the Middle Jurassic (Callovian) Colfax sequence of the Mariposa Formation exposed in the Middle Fork American River drainage of the northern Sierra Nevada, California. The specimen, although not complete, reveals details of the spination and tooth morphology often lacking in Jurassic diademataceans, along with test architecture that yields information concerning the relative timing of important events in the origins of the diadematids in particular. We explore this evolution with a phylogenetic analysis of relevant clades with Jurassic times of divergence, finding not only that Sierradiadema n. gen. is the earliest known member of a clade containing the extant Diadematidae, but that it will stimulate ongoing discussion of the putative Jurassic origins of all the diadematacean groups.



Hide All
Agassiz, A. 1879. Preliminary report on the Echini of the exploring expedition of H. M. S. “Challenger.” Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 6:190212.
Agassiz, A. and Clark, H. L. 1908. Hawaiian and other Pacific Echini. The Salenidae, Arbaciadae, Aspidodiadematidae and Diadematidae. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 34:47133.
Agassiz, L. 1835. Prodrome d'une monographie des radiaires ou échinodermes. Mémoires de la Société des Sciences naturelles de Neuchâtel, 1:168199.
Agassiz, L. 1838. Monographies d'Échinodermes vivants et fossiles. Première monographie: Des Salénies. Petitpierre, Neuchâtel, 32 p.
Chandra, D. K. 1961. Geology and mineral deposits of the Colfax and Foresthill Quadrangles. California Division of Mines and Geology Special Paper 67, 50 p.
Claus, C. F. W. 1880. Grundzüge der Zoologie, 4th edition. N. G. Elwert'sche Universitätsbuchhandlung, Marburg and Leipzig, 522 p.
Day, H. W., Moores, E. M., and Tuminas, A. C. 1985. Structure and tectonics of the northern Sierra Nevada. Bulletins of the Geological Society of America, 96:436450.
Desor, E. 1855 –1858. Synopsis des échinides fossiles. Reinwald, Paris, 490 p.
Duncan, P. M. 1889. A revision of the genera and great groups of the Echinoidea. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 23:1311.
Edleman, S. H. and Sharp, W. D. 1989. Terranes, early faults, and pre-Late Jurassic amalgamation of the western Sierra Nevada metamorphic belt, California. Bulletins of the Geological Society of America, 101:1,4201,433.
Ernst, W. G. 1983. Phanerozoic continental accretion and the metamorphic evolution of northern and central California. Tectonophysics, 100:287320.
Ernst, W. G., Snow, C. A., and Scherer, H. H. 2008 a. Contrasting early and late Mesozoic petrotectonic evolution of northern California. Bulletins of the Geological Society of America, 120:179194.
Ernst, W. G., Snow, C. A., and Scherer, H. H. 2008 b. Mesozoic transpression, transtension, subduction and metallogenesis in northern and central California. Terra Nova, 20:394413.
Fell, H. B. 1966. Diadematacea, p. U340–U366a. In Moore, R. C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Pt. U. Echinodermata 3. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
Gabb, W. M. 1870. Descriptions of some secondary fossils from the Pacific States. American Journal of Conchology, 5:518.
Gray, J. E. 1825. An attempt to divide the Echinida, or sea eggs, into natural families. Annals of Philosophy, New Series, 10:423431.
Gray, J. E. 1855. Catalogue of the Recent Echinida, or sea eggs, in the collection of the British Museum. Part I. Echinida Irregularia. Woodfall and Kinder, London, 69 p.
Graymer, R. W. 1999. A geologic excursion on the South Fork of the American River, from Lotus to Folsom Lake. Northern California Geological Society Fieldtrip, 5 p.
Graymer, R. W. and Jones, D. L. 1994. Tectonic implications of radiolarian cherts from the Placerville Belt, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California: Nevadan-age continental growth by accretion of multiple terranes. Bulletins of the Geological Society of America, 106:531540.
Greenstein, B. J. 1991. An integrated study of echinoid taphonomy: predictions for the fossil record of four echinoid families. Palaios, 6:519540.
Gregory, J. W. 1897. On the affinities of the Echinothuridae, and on Pedinothuria and Helikodiadema, two genera of Echinoidea. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, 53:112122.
Hess, H. 1972. Eine Echinodermen-Fauna aus dem mittleren Dogger des Aargauer Jura. Schweizerische Palaontologische Abhandlungen, 92:187.
Hyatt, A. 1894. Trias and Jura in the western United States. Geological Society of America, 5:395434.
Imlay, R. W. 1961. Late Jurassic ammonites from the western Sierra Nevada, California. United States Geologic Survey Professional Paper, 374D, 30 p.
Irwin, W. P. 1972. Terranes of the western Paleozoic and Triassic belt in the southern Klamath Mountains, California. United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 800C, p. 103111.
Jackson, R. T. 1912. Phylogeny of the Echini, with a revision of the Paleozoic species. Memoirs of the Boston Society of Natural History, 7:1490.
Jensen, M. 1981. Morphology and classification of Euechinoidea Bronn, 1860—a cladistic analysis. Videnskabelige Meddelelsar Dansk Naturhistoriske Forening i Kjobenhavn, 143:799.
Keeping, W. 1878. On Pelanechinus, a new genus of sea-urchin from the Coral Rag. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 34:924930.
Kroh, A. and Smith, A. B. 2010. Phylogeny and classification of post-Palaeozoic echinoids. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 8:147212.
Kroh, A. and Mooi, R. 2013. World Echinoidea Database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on June 13, 2013.
Lambert, J. and Savin, L. 1905. Note sure quelques échinides des diverse régions. Révision des échinides fossiles du département de l'Isère. Bulletin de la Société de Statistique des Sciences Naturelles et des Arts Industriels du Département de l'Isère (4ème Series), 8:202211.
Latreille, P. A. 1825. Familles naturelles du régne animal. J. B. Baillière, Paris, 570 p.
Lindgren, W. 1900. Description of the Colfax quadrangle. United States Geological Survey Geological Atlas Colfax Folio 66, 10 p.
Miller, A. K. 1929. Ancylocidaris, a new echinoid genus from the Sundance of west-central Wyoming. American Journal of Science, 18:334336.
Mooi, R., Constable, H., Lockhart, S., and Pearse, J. S. 2004. Echinothurioid phylogeny and the phylogenetic significance of Kamptosoma (Echinoidea: Echinodermata). Deep-Sea Research II, 51:1,9031,919.
Mortensen, T. 1903 a. The Danish Ingolf-Expedition 1895–1896. Volume 4, Number 2. Echinoidea. Part I. Bianco Luno, Copenhagen, 198 p.
Mortensen, T. 1903 b. Chaetodiadema granulatum n. g., n. sp., a new diadematid from the Gulf of Siam. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Danks naturhistorisk Forening i Kobenhavn, 1903:14.
Mortensen, T. 1939. New Echinoida (Aulodonta). Preliminary Notice. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Danks naturhistorisk Forening i Kobenhavn 103:547550.
Mortensen, T. 1940. A monograph of the Echinoidea. III (1) Aulodonta. C. A. Reitzel, Copenhagen, 369 p.
Peters, W. K. H. 1853. Über die an der Küste von Mossambique beobachteten Seeigel und insobesondere über die Gruppe der Diademen, von welcher hier ein Auszug folgt. Miscellanea Berolinensia Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1853:484488.
Peters, W. K. H. 1855. Über ber die an der Küste von Mossambique beobachteten Seeigel und insobesondere über die Gruppe der Diadema . Koenig Akademie der Wissenschaft Berlin, Abhandlung, 1854:101119.
Philip, G. M. 1963 a. A new regular echinoid from the Jurassic of Wyoming, U.S.A. Journal of Paleontology, 37:1,1101,115.
Philip, G. M. 1963 b. A new genus of regular echinoid from the lower Eocene of British Somaliland. Journal of Paleontology 37:1,1041,109.
Philip, G. M. 1965. The Tertiary echinoids of south-eastern Australia. III, Stirodonta, Aulodonta and Camarodonta (1). Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 78:181196.
Pomel, A. 1883. Classification méthodique et genera des Échinides vivantes et fossiles. Thèses présentées à la Faculté des Sciences de Paris pour obtenir le Grade de Docteur ès Sciences Naturelles 503, Adolphe Jourdan, Alger, 131 p.
Pomel, A. 1887. Paléontologie ou descriptions des animaux fossiles de l'Algérie: 2, Echinodermes. Publications du Service de la Carte géologique de l'Algérie, 344 p.
Saucède, T., Mooi, R., and David, B. 2007. Phylogeny and origin of Jurassic irregular echinoids (Echinodermata: Echinoidea). Geology Magazine, 144:333359.
Schweickert, R. A., Hanson, R. E., and Girty, G. H. 1999. Accretionary tectonics of the western Sierra Nevada metamorphic belt. Geologic Field Trips in Northern California. California Division of Mines and Geology Special Publication 119, p. 3379.
Sharp, W. D. 1988. Pre-Cretaceous crustal evolution in the Sierra Nevada region, California, p. 823886. In Ernst, W. G. (ed.), Metamorphism and Crustal Evolution of the Western United States, Volume VII. Prentice Hall, New York.
Smith, A. B. 1981. Implications of lantern morphology for the phylogeny of post-Palaeozoic echinoids. Palaeontology, 24:779801.
Smith, A. B. and Wright, C. W. 1990. British Cretaceous echinoids. Part 2. Echinothurioida, Diadematoida and Stirodonta (1, Calycina). Monograph of the Palaeontographical Society, London, 583:101198.
Smith, A. B., Pisani, D., Mackenzie-Dodds, J., Stockley, B., Webster, B. L., and Littlewood, D. T. J. 2006. Testing the molecular clock: molecular and paleontological estimates of divergence times in the Echinoidea (Echinodermata). Molecular Biology and Evolution, 23:1,8321,851.
Smith, A. B. 2007. Intrinsic versus extrinsic biases in the fossil record: contrasting the fossil record of echinoids in the Triassic and early Jurassic using sampling data, phylogenetic analysis, and molecular clocks. Paleobiology, 33:310323.
Smith, A. B. and Kroh, A. (eds.). 2011. The Echinoid Directory. World Wide Web electronic publication. (accessed June 12, 2013).
Smith, A. B. and Crame, J. A. 2012. Echinoderm faunas from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian) of Alexander Island, Antarctica. Palaeontology, 55:305324.
Smith, J. P. 1910. Geologic record of California. Journal of Geology, 18:216227.
Snow, C. A. 2006. On the Jurassic tectonic evolution of California. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 155 p.
Snow, C. A. 2007. Petrographic evolution and melt modeling of the Peñon Blanco arc, central Sierra Nevada foothills, California. Bulletins of the Geological Society of America, 199:1,0141,024.
Swofford, D. L. 1998. PAUP∗. Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (∗and Other Methods). Version 4. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.
Thuy, B., Gale, A. S., and Reich, M. 2011. A new echinoderm Lagerstätte from the Pliensbachian (Early Jurassic) of the French Ardennes. Swiss Journal of Palaeontology, 130:173185.
Tuminas, A. C. 1983. Structural and stratigraphic relations in the Grass Valley-Colfax area of the northern Sierra Nevada foothills, California. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Davis, 415 p.
Tuminas, A. C. and Moores, E. M. 1982. Sedimentology and possible paleotectonic setting of a Late Jurassic flysch sequence in the western foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Program, 14:241.
Vadet, A. 1999. La classification des oursins reguliers du Lias et du Jura. Bulletin de la Société Academique de Boulonnais, 4:7083.
Wilson, E. and Crick, W. D. 1889. The Lias Marlstone of Tilton, Leicestershire. Geological Magazine, 6:337342.

First Record and Phylogenetic Significance of a Jurassic Diadematacean Sea Urchin from California

  • Rich Mooi (a1) and Richard P. Hilton (a2)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed